NGC Ancients: Coins We Grade

We attribute and grade most coins struck in the Western World from the origins of coinage through c. AD 500, as well as most coins of the Byzantine Empire (AD 491-1453).

Coins Not Eligible for NGC Ancients

NGC Ancients will not grade coins that are of an ineligible type, are altered, appear to be unstable (internally or on the surfaces), which cannot be verified as authentic, or which do not have sufficient design detail to allow a minimally acceptable attribution. In these cases, fees are assessed as handling costs and insurance expense have been incurred, and the graders have engaged in the normal examination process in order to determine that a coin must be returned ungraded.

Counterfeit Coins

NGC Ancients will only grade coins it believes to be genuine. Coins considered counterfeit will be returned ungraded with the note, "NOT GENUINE." Also, NGC Ancients will not grade coins if authenticity cannot be ascertained by our staff experts and/or our network of consultants. In such cases, coins will be returned with the comment "AUTHENTICITY UNVERIFIABLE." This latter category may include coins considered genuine by other experienced professionals in the field.

While we make every effort to rely on the best information available, due to the inconsistency of opinions on these matters in the marketplace, no guarantee is made or implied about the authenticity of coins graded by NGC Ancients.

Altered Coins

Coins with significant or deceptive surface alterations are ineligible for grading.

Cast Coins

Ancient cast coins are ineligible for the services of NGC Ancients. Though the vast majority of ancient coins were struck, some issues were manufactured through a casting process. Distinguishing between original cast ancient coins and modern castings is often difficult, and for this reason cast coins are ineligible for NGC Ancients grading, even if we believe them to be genuine. It was a common practice for ancient coins to be struck on cast planchets, and sometimes indications of that casting survives the striking process; this, of course, does not affect the eligibility of struck coins for grading.

Fragile Coins

Fragile or unstable coins (and those suspected of being fragile) are not eligible for encapsulation. Where possible, fragile coins will receive Photo Certificates in lieu of encapsulation.

Byzantine Scyphates

Though NGC Ancients grades gold, electrum and silver scyphate (cup-shaped) coins of the Byzantine Empire and its related empires, we do not grade the copper or billon scyphates.

Eastern Coinage

NGC Ancients grades coins of Persia (Achaemenid), Mesopotamia, Parthia, Persis, Elymais, Characene, Arabia, Nabataea and Bactria (including Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian and Indo-Parthian). However, currently we do not grade coins from ancient India (including Kushan and its related or derivative coinages) or from any region further east. The lone exception in the Kushan series is the 'Soter Megas' bronze coinage, which at present we grade. Though we grade coins of Tabaristan, we do not grade Sasanian coins unless they are submitted in large groups or constitute a specialized collection; the eligibility of any Sasanian coin will be determined solely at our discretion on a case-by-case basis, and we recommend contacting our department prior to submitting any Sasanian coin for grading.